Solar energetic particle events: trajectory analysis and flux reconstruction with PAMELA

Research paper by A. Bruno, O. Adriani, G. C. Barbarino, G. A. Bazilevskaya, R. Bellotti, M. Boezio, E. A. Bogomolov, M. Bongi, V. Bonvicini, S. Bottai, U. Bravar, F. Cafagna, D. Campana, R. Carbone, P. Carlson, et al.

Indexed on: 02 Nov '15Published on: 02 Nov '15Published in: Physics - Space Physics


The PAMELA satellite experiment is providing first direct measurements of Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs) with energies from about 80 MeV to several GeV in near-Earth space, bridging the low energy data by other space-based instruments and the Ground Level Enhancement (GLE) data by the worldwide network of neutron monitors. Its unique observational capabilities include the possibility of measuring the flux angular distribution and thus investigating possible anisotropies. This work reports the analysis methods developed to estimate the SEP energy spectra as a function of the particle pitch-angle with respect to the Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) direction. The crucial ingredient is provided by an accurate simulation of the asymptotic exposition of the PAMELA apparatus, based on a realistic reconstruction of particle trajectories in the Earth's magnetosphere. As case study, the results for the May 17, 2012 event are presented.